Sri Lanka's private sector faces a common dilemma with its inability to find well rounded individuals to meet its workforce requirements. Human Resource experts have repeatedly pointed out the skills gap in school leavers with emphasis on computer literacy, work place skills, and English language proficiency. These have become prerequisites sought after by the private sector when considering recruitment of young individuals.
It is with this backdrop that "Skills for Life" was established to help bridge the skills gap in human resources. Skills for Life provides well researched, widely accepted curricula in key skill areas that have become training priorities today. The courses on offer not only assist in training new entrants to the workforce but are also aimed at nurturing young talent from early childhood.
All curricula offered are backed by state-of-the-art course material that have been either published internationally or developed by international consultants. On completion of all courses of study, Skills for Life will provide an assessment that leads to internationally accepted certification. These are offered in partnership with world's leading awarding bodies in order to deliver globally accepted programmes of study in Sri Lanka.
The three core areas of focus include Career Skills, English proficiency and ICT skills.
Career Skills for Life
The key programme offered under Career Skills is the Accelerated Skills Acquisition Programme (ASAP), endorsed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). ASAP is the only certified Soft Skills training programme in Sri Lanka. 'Soft Skills' will help enhance the ability to communicate effectively, improve employee's organisational skills, increase efficiency and leadership skills, goal setting, problem solving, decision making and also help boost self-confidence.
Even though ASAP has been developed with the input of several international and local experts, the curricula has been designed very much to suit the needs of Sri Lanka. The curriculum provides young people an opportunity to acquire and improve some basic skills and knowledge in English and IT, acquire a better perception of the workplace environment and its expectations from workers. ASAP also helps young individuals gain a better understanding of the business world when considering alternatives of either joining the private sector or becoming more entrepreneurial.
English Language programmes include:
The main suite exams are designed for learners at all levels from Foundation to the very advanced proficiency in English. The main suite exams are known throughout the world and are widely recognised for work and study purposes. They give candidates practice in using English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.
Business English Certificate (BEC) of Cambridge
BEC is a suite of three exams designed to test English Language ability used in the context of business. They are suitable for adults (aged 16 and over) who are either preparing for a career in business or already in work. The exams cover the same range of language skills as the main suite exams, but with emphasis on activities that are common in business.
English for Finance Professionals:
International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE)
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) have combined their expertise to develop the International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE). It is an ideal qualification for anyone thinking of, or already pursuing a career in accountancy or finance. ICFE can be used to validate financial English language skills and provide proof of linguistic ability and expertise.
English for Law Professionals:
International Legal English Certificate (ILEC)
ILEC is a Cambridge ESOL examination, developed in co-operation with TransLegal- Europe's leading firm of lawyer-linguists. Cambridge ILEC is a high-level language qualification suitable for Law students and practising lawyers to communicate with clients and professionals in an international legal environment.
English for Young Learners:
Cambridge Young Learners English Tests are designed to assess the English of primary learners of ages 6 to 12. The tests are taken by over 250,000 children every year and provide a gentle introduction to public exams. Research shows that children find the tests motivating. Each level of the tests have three components- Reading/ Writing, Listening and Speaking- and all candidates receive an award showing the level they have achieved in each of the components.
Skills for Life has joined hands with LAMDA Examinations Sri Lanka to provide opportunities to teachers and students to enhance their Speech and Drama skills. LAMDA Examinations, the Awarding Body of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is dedicated to the creative, intellectual and social development of the individual as a whole. It is for this reason that LAMDA has become the largest Speech and Drama Awarding Body in UK. Its examinations also have a reputation for excellence worldwide, so candidates can measure their progress against an internationally applied standard. LAMDA Examinations is accredited as an Awarding Body by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and the corresponding regulatory authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Partnering with Skills for Life
Skills for Life offers accreditation to organizations interested in using their curricula as specialized courses of study. Training organizations, Universities and Schools that wish to add to their existing programmes of study can join hands with Skills for Life to enhance the learning experience of their students.
Corporates and NGO's are also invited to invest on Skills for Life courses to enhance the quality of their staff. Skills for Life also steps forward in project managing CSR initiatives of organizations, which offer funding for courses of study.
Further details can be obtained by contacting the Skills for Life office on +94 112697766, +94 112697788 or 0772 544554.